[ExI] constitution amendments, was: iranian riots all a huge mistake

Jeff Davis jrd1415 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 17 21:57:38 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 3:10 AM, Mirco Romanato<painlord2k at libero.it> wrote:


>> The referendum Zelaya called for ...

I wrote the above, and now I find that I made a mistake.   Apparently
the term "referendum" is wrong.  So permit me to correct myself.  The
correct terminology should have been "non-binding public

"Referendum" apparently has some legal meaning, which may in fact
support Mirco's contention that

> The only body that can propose a similar thing is the parliament of
> Honduras.

That said, before accepting the above as on point or accurate, it
needs some authoritative support, like say a link to the Honduran
constitution or an excerpt therefrom.   (It often turns out that in
political discussions of this sort various "factoids" are propelled
into the fray by pure political bias, with little concern for factual
accuracy.  In order then to make progress, one needs to clean things
up,one needs facts made of sterner stuff, reality-based, if you will.)

> And the Constitution is clear

This is reassuring.  You've read the Honduran constitution then?  If
you have, please say so, if you haven't please fess up.  For the
record, I have not.

I relied on this article for a reality-based factual foundation re the
"business" in Honduras:


for a reality-based factual foundation re the "business" in Honduras:

July 1, 2009
Behind the Honduran Coup
Why Zelaya's Actions Were Legal

             *********here's a short excerpt************

President Zelaya intended to perform a non-binding public
consultation, about the conformation of an elected National
Constituent Assembly. To do this, he invoked article 5 of the Honduran
“Civil Participation Act” of 2006. According to this act, all public
functionaries can perform non-binding public consultations to inquire
what the population thinks about policy measures. This act was
approved by the National Congress and it was not contested by the
Supreme Court of Justice, when it was published in the Official Paper
of 2006. That is, until the president of the republic employed it in a
manner that was not amicable to the interests of the members of these

Furthermore, the Honduran Constitution says nothing against the
conformation of an elected National Constituent Assembly, with the
mandate to draw up a completely new constitution, which the Honduran
public would need to approve.


> If GWB had forced a "consultive" not binding referendum to the US
> people, against the Senate and the Congress will, against the ruling of
> the Supreme Court, about "updating" the Constitution, you would be
> screaming "coup".

Nonsense!  I'm a big fan of referendums, plebiscites, polls,
petitions, initiatives, and all manner of going to the people and
asking them what they think. Such is my support for the people's right
to participate directly, that when someone proffers a petition
regarding some ballot initiative, I sign it without regard to the
issue itself.  I say, "Let the people decide."  It's the American way.

If GWB had sought any sort of consult with the public (or congress, or
anyone other than Cheney) re amending the constitution or for that
matter convening a body to rewrite the constitution I would have
supported him.   I would not have worried, because the actual
subsequent constitutional amendment/rewrite would not have been up to
GWB.  And I think its long past time to modernize the constitution.
(Then again one must be careful what one wishes for.  In the end, I'd
probably hate the new constitution.  Americans are incredibly stupid.)

Best, Jeff Davis

     "From my point of view, democracy is a crappy tool,
           to be used only until enough people grow up and
                    are capable of making a better society."
                                            Rafal Smigrodski

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